Prof. (Dr.) G.S. Mahal of BFC nominated as a member of the Research Advisory Committee of DWR, Karnal
Agriculture in India has a significant history. In 2011, India ranked second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and fisheries accounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2009, about 50% of the total workforce. The economic contribution of agriculture to India's GDP is steadily declining with the country's broad-based economic growth. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India.
Everyday millions of rural populance who depend on agricultural confronts technical, economical, social, cultural & traditional obstructions to improving their livelihoods. To cope with these obstacles, the rural poor draw on indigenous knowledge & innovative through local experimentation & adaption. Indigenous knowledge alone, however, is not enough to deal with the complex problem facing the agricultural sector. Emerging issues such as high food prices, climate change & demand for biofuels require complementary knowledge from formal agricultural research & development (R&D) & support from policies & other institutions. Formal & informal knowledge and innovation must therefore be linked to accelerate sustainable agricultural development.
Knowledge, defined as organized or processed information or data, is fundamental in the pursuit of innovation. For innovation to occur, knowledge must be created, accumulated, shared & used. Innovation- new ideas, practices or products that are successfully introduced into economic & social processes- can involve technologies, organizations, institutions, or policies. Innovation means putting ideas, knowledge & technology to work in manner that brings about a significance improvement in performance or product quality.
It is very creditable for Baba Farid Group of Institutions that one of its faculty members, Dr. Gursharan Singh Mahal from the Department of Agriculture, Baba Farid College, Deon, a Constituent of BFGI, has been nominated as a member of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of Directorate of Wheat Research, Karnal. The Primary job of this committee is to advise Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), Karnal, to orient future Wheat Research Program. Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) has the responsibility of coordinating Wheat Research throughout the country. It is worth mentioning that Dr. Gursharan Singh Mahal who retired as Director Seeds, PAU, Ludhiana, has 36 years of experience in wheat breeding and has been credited with the development of a number of Wheat Varieties.
Over 50 years since its independence, India has made immense progress towards food security. Indian population has tripled, but food-grain production more than quadrupled: there has thus been substantial increase in available food-grain per capita.
Prior to the mid-1960s India relied on imports and food aid to meet domestic requirements. However, two years of severe drought in 1965 and 1966 convinced India to reform its agricultural policy, and that India could not rely on foreign aid and foreign imports for food security. India adopted significant policy reforms focused on the goal of foodgrain self-sufficiency. This ushered in India's Green Revolution. It began with the decision to adopt superior yielding, disease resistant wheat varieties in combination with better farming knowledge to improve productivity. The Indian state of Punjab led India's green revolution and earned itself the distinction of being the country's bread basket.
India's agricultural economy is undergoing structural changes. Between 1970 and 2011, the GDP share of agriculture has fallen from 43 to 16%. This isn't because of reduced importance of agriculture, or a consequence of agricultural policy. This is largely because of the rapid economic growth in services, industrial output, and non-agricultural sectors in India between 2000 to 2010.
Agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan has played a vital role in the green revolution. Last year (2013) NDTV awarded 25 living legends of India for outstanding contribution to agriculture and making India a food sovereign Country.
India will be the top most country in the coming years in terms of food production. With the professors like Dr. Mahal the quality of food will be surely raised upto the highest level. It's really an honour for BFGI and the whole country to have such an eminent agricultural expert; Mr. Mahal as a member of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of Directorate of Wheat Research with the experince of more than 36 years.